Truth: Leslie Moonves of CBS Challenges Biopic’s Perspective

The Hollywood Reporter Writes:

Truth, director James Vanderbilt‘s drama about the “Memogate” scandal that ended Dan Rather‘s CBS News career, world premiered at the Toronto Gilm Fest last week.

Dan Rather himself turned up at the high-profile, star-driven event to praise the film’s accuracy and its portrayal of him, which is very sympathetic.

But he movie was shown months earlier to a special viewer: CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves, and his reaction was less than effusive.

CBS mostly comes across as the villain in Truth, with news chief Andy Heyward appearing to fire Rather (Robert Redford) and 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) to appease the George W. Bush White House and protect CBS’ bottom line in the wake of questions regarding documents behind a 2004 story on Bush’s military service.
The film downplays Rather’s role in the reporting that led to the scandal and suggests that the attacks on the 60 Minutes II report were politically motivated.
Sources close to the film says Moonves wasn’t a fan of Truth, but he didn’t ask producers for major changes.  A CBS source says the network isn’t planning to publicly lash out at Sony Pictures Classics’ October 16 release.   As is well known from other cases, any challenge from those depicted would only provide more publicity for the film.

Moonves and staff were heard at CBS headquarters dismissing the movie as “half truth.” CBS declined to comment.